Energy, Women and the Opportunity to Lead
Posted March 9, 2019
To mark International Women’s Day, check out our latest video featuring leading women from the natural gas and oil industry, including Susan Dio, chairman and president of BP America; Gretchen Watkins, president and U.S. country chair for Shell; and Stacey Nachbaur, Hess senior operations manager for upstream assets:
Of course, the things these women say about the natural gas and oil industry are true every day of the year.
Our industry is high tech and critically important to the economy and powering modern life. Natural gas and oil are center stage in most geopolitical discussions, and natural gas is leading the way in reducing greenhouse emissions.
Industry is broadly creating good career opportunities – for Millennials, women, African Americans, Hispanics and all people – and American natural gas and oil have the potential to do incredibly good things for people living in energy poverty around the world. Dio:
“Digital innovation, artificial intelligence, robotics – all of those things are helping us to be safer, to be more efficient and they’re helping us to produce our product with a lower carbon footprint. … We’re looking for people who are life-long learners. … It’s critical that we’ve got people that will continue to educate themselves and be ready to solve the future problems.”
This is the versatile power of abundant U.S. natural gas and oil.
International Women’s Day, first was celebrated more than 100 years ago, is a reminder of the need to ensure opportunity for all. Our industry certainly recognizes the great opportunity to enlist the talents and skills of more women, African Americans and Hispanics. A recent study projected nearly 1.9 million direct job opportunities in industry through 2035, with women and minorities accounting for hundreds of thousands of them.
Dio, Watkins and Nachbaur are industry leaders, but our industry still has a ways to go. Education in the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering, mathematics – is foundational to good, challenging careers in natural gas and oil. Watkins:
“The industry still needs traditional, technical talent – people like mechanical engineers like me. We also need data scientists, people that can take an enormous amount of data, write algorithms that allow us to build more efficient plants, drill better wells, build bigger platforms. … We’re not only looking at what’s going on today, but we are innovating for the solutions for tomorrow. In my view, is the coolest thing you can think about when it comes to technical innovation and why you should go into STEM.”
These workers will be on the cutting edge of an industry with enormous ability to make a difference in individual lives and in the world – working safely and responsibly to provide the energy needed for progress. “We are aware, we are conscious, we are taking responsibility,” Nachbaur says.
This is today’s natural gas and oil industry: the power to create, to improve life and to benefit the world.
About The Author
Megan Barnett Bloomgren is API's senior vice president for communications. She came to API in 2017 after serving as acting deputy chief of staff for the U.S. Department of the Interior, where she directed communications and policy-related actions for the secretary. Before joining the administration, Meg was a partner at DCI Group, a public affairs consulting firm in Washington, D.C. Prior to DCI, she led strategy and operations for the Institute for 21st Century Energy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which followed positions at the U.S. Energy Department, the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency. Meg is a graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia.